The prospects of Peace Ambassador George Weah of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) vying for the presidency in 2017 are not clear as there has been no indication that he will contest. Though earlier claims that CDC attention was on 2017, the party has now directed all preparations for 2014 senatorial elections in which Weah stands as a candidate for Montserrado County.
Asked in an exclusive interview Sunday on possibilities of Weah contesting 2017, the Party Chairman George Solo could not give a clear definite position but rather disclosed that Weah desire is to serve in any capacity other than the presidency.
"What I see in Ambassador Weah is a constant basis in his desire to serve in a position to impact the lives of Liberians positively," George Solo said yesterday. "Whether it is a Senator, President, Vice President, I see a desire to serve."
Mr. Solo said though CDC sees 2017 as vital, it primary focus was now fixed on 2014 Senatorial elections dangling that Ambassador Weah might contest or not come 2017. "Although, I believe in his candidacy, but again that remains an opinion because the political process will have to be followed and Amb Weah might choose to contest or not," he said.
Solo and Weah who share close family ties intoned that though Weah carries the characteristics that require him to make 'progress' in Liberia, 2014 elections remains critical to the party strategy.
"Weah will first have to be convinced that he wants to run 2017," he said. "However, it is a senatorial election that clearly establishes an institution that will make an impact in the Legislative branch of government. One will have to clearly understand the value of this branch of government. So getting in there makes the party (CDC) more visible and stronger from any other prospective."
Although the CDC has lost two elections, the Party Chairman now thinks that 2014 is an immediate goal while 2017 remains a long term goal though pounding on the possibility of Weah contesting.
"2017 is a wordy way in politics even though you prepare for the distance but you train for the marathon now," he noted. "What we are currently concentrating on now is 2014. This is very critical and I believe that Ambassador Weah did communicate that he will be trying to get the party nomination."
"I believe in his candidacy but politics is always a different game," Solo said. "Ambassador Weah may choose not to engage or he may choose to engage. And I as chairman I have a responsibility to carry on a convention process that would determine the next standard bearer of the party come 2017."
"This is not solely decided by me but rather people with voting rights within the institution." Although, Solo remains tight-lipped, he said the party was however in the process of decentralizing and expending it presence in various counties.
"We want to build the relationship now and tell the people what we can do for them. Tell them about our plans on where we want to take this nation." On claims that CDC has a history of defeat, Solo replied "That is a wrong analysis. If you look at the age of the CDC, the Party has just gone through two elections and I don't think that establishes a history of defeat."
"These elections were not just fair elections but controversial elections, one of which we did not even go for the second round." He believes that CDC is in a favorite position in terms of knowing itself as an institution and understating the environment in which politics is being practice in Africa.
"If you look at the sympathy CDC generates now and looking at the current performance of our government, with corruption and other issues I think we stand in a very relevant position," the CDC Chairman maintains.